New high-resolution, wide-field 90 cm VLA observations of the Galactic center (GC) region by Nord and coworkers have revealed 20 nonthermal filament (NTF) candidates. We report 6 cm polarization observations of six of these. All of the candidates have the expected NTF morphology, and two show extended polarization, confirming their identification as NTFs. One of the new NTFs appears to be part of a system of NTFs located in the Sgr B region, 64 pc in projection north of Sgr A. These filaments cross the Galactic plane with an orientation similar to the filaments in the Galactic center radio arc. They extend the scale over which the NTF phenomena is known to occur to almost 300 pc along the Galactic plane. Another NTF was found in the Galactic plane south of the Sgr C filament but with an orientation of 45° to the Galactic plane. This is only the second of 12 confirmed NTFs that is not oriented perpendicular to the Galactic plane. An additional candidate in the Sgr C region was resolved into multiple filamentary structures. Polarization was detected only at the brightness peak of one of the filaments. Several of these filaments run parallel to the Galactic plane and can be considered additional evidence for nonpoloidal magnetic fields at the GC. Together the 90 and 6 cm observations indicate that the GC magnetic field may be more complex than a simple globally ordered dipolar field.
The Astrophysical Journal
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
LaRosa TN, Nord ME, Lazio TJW, Kassim NE. 2004. New nonthermal filaments at the galactic center: Are they tracing a globally ordered magnetic field? Astrophys J 607(1):302-8.